Land Management Program Manager

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The Nature Conservancy

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Ainsworth, NE, United States

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30+ days ago


Johnstown, Nebraska, USA

Niobrara Valley Preserve

Relocation stipend available.


Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive.

We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. Whether it’s career development, work/life balance, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to enjoy life inside TNC. Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all of our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued.

In Nebraska The Nature Conservancy (TNC) works to ensure the state’s vast native grasslands, healthy forests, streams, and wetlands to sustain and enrich all life. This includes special places like Niobrara Valley Preserve, 56,000 acres along the Niobrara National Scenic River, whose beauty stuns the first-time visitor; and Platte River Prairies Preserve, one of the most important bird-migration stops in North America. In Nebraska, we've permanently protected 89,500 acres and 45 miles of rivers through ownership and easements across the state. Nebraska has three preserves that are open to the public. We strive to work with partners and private landowners enhancing the economic, environmental, and social aspects of native natural habitats. In addition to protecting the natural world in Nebraska, as an international conservation organization, we also work regionally and globally with staff and partners to sustain clean water and air, protect biodiversity and work to combat climate change.

All TNC staff based in the U.S. or a U.S. Territory are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Proof of receiving one of the vaccines approved in the U.S. (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) shall be condition of employment and must be provided prior to starting work. TNC is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and reasonable accommodations for candidates who cannot be vaccinated due to a valid medical or religious reason will be considered.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.


The Land Management Program Manager (LMPM) oversees all day-to-day operations at the Niobrara Valley Preserve and the Platte River Prairie Preserve. The Land Management Program Manager is responsible for building strong working relationships with regional partners critical to Preserve operations, including neighboring private landowners, local partners, and donors. The Manager ensures safe and efficient operations on Preserves, and provides oversight of natural and cultural resource stewardship, restoration, visitation, and infrastructure construction and maintenance. The Manager leads the overall Land Management Program, consisting of multiple staff, and collaborates with the NE Director of Conservation in implementing conservation work at the Preserves. Preferred office location for LMPM is at the Niobrara Valley Preserve.


The Land Management Program Manager oversees all operational aspects of the Niobrara Valley Preserve and Platte River Prairie Preserves. They provide onsite leadership and management, overseeing conservation planning, annual work plans, and coordinated preserve operations. The Manager fosters collaborative working partnerships across a highly matrixed and multidisciplinary Conservancy team, and with partner organizations, indigenous tribes, and governmental agencies, to protect and enhance the conservation values of the Preserve and to effect conservation outcomes beyond the Preserve. The Manager leads all financial management, scheduling, project management, and operational (grants, contracts, etc.) on the Preserves and may assist other BU needs/activities. The Manager also ensures that the Land Management Program provides a high level of hospitality and logistics for visitors in service of the Preserve’s fundraising, government relations, community relations, environmental education, and science/research activities. The Manager works closely with the NE Director of Conservation to ensure that the Preserve functions as a sit for collaboration and discovery in high impact applied conservation science.


  • Serves as place-based leader of Preserve; acts independently and exercises independent judgement to identify and solve complex problems.
  • Builds and leads teams capable of implementing complex restoration, stewardship, infrastructure management, and visitation projects.
  • Leads cultivation of existing and new strategic relationships with key stakeholders and organizations critical to the Preserve’s success.
  • Effectively cultivates positive team culture.
  • Identifies and develops management objectives and workplans across all functions required to operate the Preserve, including but not limited to facilities development and management, visitation/hospitality, natural resource management, security, etc.
  • Serves as a primary interfacing representative for the Preserve with partners, donors, elected officials, government agencies and other parties of interest.
  • Leads management of all on-preserve financial and budget management.
  • Leads processes to design, permit and implement comprehensive facilities and visitation plans that will support the Preserve’s diverse programs and initiatives. Includes developing partnerships (internally and externally) that will lead to government approvals and public support for the NVP’s vision and purpose.
  • Provides oversight of contracts and other agreements to design, build and manage Preserve infrastructure, including but not limited to buildings, fences, roads, water systems, energy and communications systems.
  • Leads internal communications and planning between Land Management program and other teams within The Nature Conservancy.
  • Directs and manages the Preserve staff as well as a broader matrixed multidisciplinary team in work to carry out Preserve development and management objectives.
  • Collaborates with TNC’s Development team and the NE Development Team in developing and implementing a fundraising strategy for the Preserve and managing and cultivating relationships with donors and other potential funding entities.
  • Designs, plans, and manages new initiatives, systems or approaches that will ensure preserve goals and strategies are achieved while directing work of staff, setting deadlines, and ensuring accountability.
  • Negotiates complex agreements.
  • Maintains confidentiality of sensitive information.
  • Fosters a culture of trust, transparency and teamwork.
  • Minimizes legal risk to the Conservancy and ensures compliance with applicable state and local regulation.
  • Establishes and maintains optimal performance standards within budget.
  • Works in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.
  • Decisions may have program-wide impact and may bind the organization financially or legally.
  • The priorities of the Manager may evolve over time to correspond to the highest operational priorities and areas in need of attention or extra resources. Willingness to be flexible in work scope is necessary.


  • BA/BS and 5 years’ experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience negotiating complex agreements.
  • Experience managing multiple complex projects, including managing finances and coordinating the work of other professionals and partners.
  • Supervisory experience, including motivating, leading, setting objectives, and managing performance.
  • Experience in partnership development with non-profit partners, community groups and/or government agencies.
  • Experience communicating with the public and/or media both in writing and verbally.
  • Experience using applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Web Browsers.


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated
  • Demonstrated experience in budget management, grant writing and implementation and contract development. .
  • Knowledge of land management conservation practice and conservation science.
  • Ability to explain conservation practices to technical and non-technical audiences
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in conservation, land management, and natural resource preservation.
  • Completing tasks independently with respect to timeline(s).
  • Excellent written communication and public speaking skills


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with the Conservancy's Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.


Salary Range: $62,000 - $66,000 per year, dependent on qualifications and experience. Relocation stipend available.


Apply for job ID 51788 by using the Apply Now button at Submit resume and cover letter as one document using the upload button. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

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TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.